Parents, officials argue necessity of $2 million school security system in Belleville

An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday. (1/27/14)

BELLEVILLE - An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday.

District officials say the $2 million network of cameras, sensors and tracking technology was installed as a direct result of the Newtown school massacre.

The system includes surveillance cameras and audio in every classroom and hallway.  Even the teacher’s lounges has video streaming directly to Belleville police.

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But some parents, teachers and students have criticized the elaborate system, saying it comes with too great a loss in funds and privacy.

"People are going to do what they're going to do and they're going to find a way around it,"  says parent Chris Lamparello, who believes no security is worth such an expense. "I mean there's ways around everything, even if it costs $2 million."

Students like Kenya Pringle don't feel they need to be observed from so many different angles. "I feel like certain conversations, that are private conversations…can't go on because I feel someone is always watching or listening."

Critics say the $2 million could have been better spent at a time when teachers don't have all the textbooks and supplies they need.

Proponents say it's worth it, and argue the cost is being spread over five years.

 

 

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